Four San Francisco cops are under investigation as racist and homophobic text messages, sent among themselves, have recently come to light.
The text messages were discovered by federal officers during an investigation into former police Sgt. Ian Furminger, who has been convicted of corruption, and faces 41 months in prison. The four cops in question, Michael Robison, 46; Noel Schwab, 49; Rain Daugherty, 40; and Michael Celis, 47, are said to have sent the text messages to Furminger and one another between 2011 and 2012.
The texts, which include such despicable, and racially charged sentiments as “All n****rs must f***ing hang!,” “Cross burning lowers blood pressure. I did the test myself!,” and “Get ur pocket gun. Keep it available in case the monkey returns to his roots. Its [sic] not against the law to put an animal down!,” were disclosed in court documents during Furminger’s trial. San Francisco mayor Edwin Lee is calling for swift disciplinary action to be taken against the other four cops, up to and including their immediate dismissal from the department.
“The content of these text messages displays a bias that is incompatible with the values of our city and incompatible with the ability to perform sworn duties as a police officer. If these statements are attributable to any San Francisco police officer, I join Police Chief Greg Suhr in seeking nothing less than termination.”
The San Francisco Police Department is not the only one dealing with racist text messages and emails being sent between its officers. Earlier this week, four cops from Fort Lauderdale were fired for sending racist texts, as well as a video promoting the Klu Klux Klan, that prominently featured President Obama super-imposed into the video, and edited to portray racial stereotypes.
Two weeks ago, emails — that included snide remarks concerning President Obama not being president for long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years?” — sent within the Ferguson police department prompted the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, to threaten to shut down the Ferguson department in its entirety.
In December, two cops in Ohio were suspended, with pay, after their racist texts were brought to the attention of the authorities by the Dayton, Ohio, chapter of the NAACP.
With racial tensions still running high in the aftermath of incidents like the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, it seems not only do these cops need to be fired, but a complete upheaval is in order in many police departments, and perhaps some added training to both new and old officers is necessary in order to stop not only racist texts from being sent, but to quench the growing problem of racism as a whole.
[Image courtesy of REUTERS/Lucas Jackson]